Leaving the audition, it’s the most natural thing in the world to ask your child how the audition went. But asking how it “went” is unfair—because it creates a sense of pressure, and because honestly, they have no idea how it went. The casting director could have been purposefully poker-faced (and many are) to not get your child’s hopes up. So your child may feel that they did horribly. Or they might have been extremely encouraging (which in fact can unnecessarily get your child’s hopes up!).
Not only do they not know how it went but how they FEEL it went may have been completely off the mark. A number of times my daughter Dove felt like she really nailed an audition, and never heard back for a callback. More often, however, she felt she did terribly and then did get a callback! Your kid may in fact have turned in a fabulous audition, but one of many, many things out of your (and their) control will mean that they won’t be cast. I’ll talk more about those elements in another post.
So what CAN you say when they come out from the audition room and you’ve left the waiting room together? My personal instinct is to let them lead the conversation—most likely they will want to share their experience. You might ask how they FEEL about how the audition went—which is something they do know about, and which matters very much. If they feel triumphant, you can celebrate with them.
If they feel less than happy about how it went, ask if there is something that they might do differently next time. If they felt unprepared, maybe more time spent on learning their lines or considering how to interpret them is in order going forward. Or maybe something happened in the room that threw them—a common one is if the casting director asks them to read the sides in a different way—in other words, gives them direction!
It’s not unusual for a casting director to test an actor—even a young one—to see if they are capable of following direction. Being able to follow direction is one of the most valuable assets an actor has. But if your child has over-rehearsed their lines (yes this can happen) then they might have a difficult time veering from the deep groove they have developed and speaking the lines differently. Finally, it’s possible that your child didn’t feel good about the audition simply because they were just so very nervous. The best remedy for this is to simply go to more auditions, until they get a chance to really see clearly that there is ALWAYS another audition around the corner. The fate of the world does not rest on getting a particular role. Trying to keep a sense of perspective yourself on this will go a long way in helping your child do the same.
My book, The Hollywood Parents Guide, available on Amazon contains everything I wish I’d known when Dove and I started this journey, and will save you untold amounts of time, money, and stress. Full of information you MUST know, it also features stories from parents of other kids who’ve made it!
Or book an hour consulting with me to come up with an individualized plan that takes your own unique needs into account. For about the cost of an hour with a professional acting coach, you can get your questions answered and a road map to help you move forward toward your dream.
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